First a catch up…
Friday I finished off my relaxing afternoon and then spent the evening after dinner with some friends. There was cider and pumpkin beer and plans to go to the country bar — I even wore my “Canadian Tuxedo” as some call it (i.e. DENIM SANDWICH!) — but I chose my bed over going out when the time came.
In the morning, I met up with a new friend from work (a superstar runner, in fact!), a friend from triathlon, and another friend from Life By Design and hit the trials in Komoka. We ran for about an hour, chatted lots, and saw an eagle! What a freaking treat…
When I got home, I was ravenous so there was a treat in store for me — a kale salad with bacon, apple, and hardboiled eggs. Omnomnomnomnom!
After showering, grabbing a quick coffee and doing some journalling at Starbucks (in between visits with fellow Starbucks rats), I worked the afternoon away.
I had plenty of snacks to carry me through but the store was pretty busy in the afternoon. I really missed working there though so being back is still awesome. Check back and see how I feel after a Saturday shift during Christmas, but I really like busy days–time flies and there’s always something to do!
I also work with some funny folks. Apparently I’m not the only one who would be interested in bacon-themed first aid supplies–or bacon-themed anything, for that matter.
When I got home, after diving headfirst into the almond butter jar, I finally fixed a “real snack”. I tried mixing up one of my paleo bombs (nut butter, flax seed, coconut, honey, etc.) but I was hungrier than hungry even though I’d had dinner on my break…
Lesson: if you’re hungry, eat. Ignore “carbs before bed will make you fat” talk. Also ignore: “you already had dinner.” voice. Listen to YOUR body.
This morning my body told me to have a treat — even though it’s Thanksgiving. My treat of choice is “paleo pudding” — avocado, cocoa, and a banana with a bit of honey and salt and topped with toasted almonds and crushed dried bananas. Om nom nom. I’d do it again, but my avocado’s gone.
It hit the spot!
Back to that simple wisdom of eating when you’re hungry, I’m diving back into a book that changed my life when I read it the first time and that I’m sure can only change my life again. I love re-reading things when you come in with a new perspective–it shows just how far I’ve come with things…
It’s not really light reading, but it is. And I often feel like she’s taken the words from my mouth and put them onto paper. It’s not that I’ve been struggling much lately–things are going remarkably well–but I think being so far removed from my eating disorder has let the little things show themselves. The coffee, the nut butter diving–that kind of thing. And the little indication that maybe I’m still not as awesome and free as I could be. Why sell myself short?
Like I said, Geneen Roth has a way of saying it…
“Your body gets hungry. When you feed it, it gets satisfied. There is no magic about it. It might take a while to sift through the various sensations you feel and distinguish hunger from sadness or loneliness, but that’s because your body doesn’t feel it or because your hunger, if you let it recognize it, would be insatiable. No one has to tell you when to eat; your body will tell you. No one can tell you when to eat; they aren’t in touch with your stomach. And if you’re listening to your body to tell you when to eat, you can also hear it saying ‘enough.’”
My interpretation: Stop worrying if so and so says intermittent fasting works for him. If someone else tells you they always eat before/after training. If the common advice is to eat every 3 hours. Experiment on yourself. It’s going to take some mistakes–which will feel uncomfortable but if you pay attention to them you’ll have eliminated an option there–but the sooner you figure out what works, the better. You’re going to feed yourself for a lifetime. Also, you know what real food is. You know what real food isn’t. This isn’t permission to go hog wild eating brownies or twinkies–and if you try that, I’m sure that you’ll soon understand what I mean about “mistakes” and feeling “uncomfortable.”
“The following themes, fears, and questions about hunger are raised again and again: If I eat when I’m hungry I’ll eat all the time (or I’ll gain fifty pounds…). This feeling is the logical outcome of years of being conditioned to believe that our bodies lie, that they cannot be trusted, that they will betray us.”
This one got a silent “AMEN!” from me. One thing I learned through my recovery, the last few months, reading and living and trusting my body, is that there’s no way our bodies want to weigh more or less than “ideal” — but they set the ideal, not society, your mom, or the media. The simple (recurring theme here) truth is that if you feed your body and move it (things that feel good for the sake of doing them, btw), it will find it’s healthiest settling point. Simple.
There are about 120910291 other dog earred pages in my copies of Roth’s books (I have the whole set). It’s cool for me to compare where I was a year ago with where I am now, but it’s emotional. I looked back at eatplayluvblog, just to see, and I realized that this time was right where I was in the midst of a whole lot of crazy. I took some time off blogging–sort of to take better care of myself, but also to retreat and not have to live out loud. Thanksgiving was a binge. My sister had gotten married on October 1 and while I wish that I ONLY had fond memories of the beautiful ceremony and celebratory day, I remember purging too. Truth be told, I remember a lot of events that most people would remember fondly from university for the binges and/or purges that went along with them. Admitting that isn’t easy, but avoiding that would be worse. How upset it makes me feel to know that I was distracted by something so petty as food–literally, feed yourself when you’re hungry and you will come out okay–is all the motivation to keep on keeping on and to do better this year.
I have this
inkling suspicion certain confidence that I’m going to be able to dominate my turkey dinner this year instead of letting it dominate me. That the next wedding I go to won’t be about the dessert buffet. That all the years I spent struggling with food–using it to comfort me when I was lonely, when I felt guilty, when I didn’t know what I was really carving–were lessons and stepping stones and gave me the insight I need to talk about this kind of stuff and to make it known that it’s not okay to let food rob you of living your life. Whether you eat too much or too little or whether you diet or just hate your body, none of that is helping you be as awesome as awesome can be. And we all deserve to be beyond amazing–if we’d just let ourselves.
On that note, happy thanksgiving. When someone asks me what I’m thankful for, I’ll probably say Starbucks. But the truth is, this year I’m thankful for my eating disorder and for the person it made me in the end.